“I have found that if you love life, life will love you back.” ~Arthur Rubinstein 

When we arrived in the court room the judge was stunned by our co-creative plan to move forward. I think I was too, but the only thing I knew for sure was that I did not want my children to live as another statistic or have a negative view of either parent. I felt in my heart that learning to love beyond the sting of reality was the most valuable asset in transforming the ending into a new beginning. 

Now, it did take some time to process residual anger and sadness into something more constructive that required a very powerful therapist, but I was committed to living an experience that was the complete opposite of what I experienced as a young child. All I could see was two precious little girls who needed a daddy and a mommy reqaurdless of what life was presenting to them as children of divorce. My soul said, “Do not be normal and do not break your girls hearts. Be better than the norm and be your own voice on how to co-create a new version of happily-ever-after.” And that we did!

Today, I am sitting in the mountains of Georgia on Lake Lanier with my ex’s family. There is a rumbling of thunder and a nudge from my creative muse to share how powerful this experience has been so far.  My family is small and they still welcome them into their lives as if nothing ever happened which is another true blessing, but now we have arrived to yet another new chapter of unconventional co-parenting. We have taken several vacations together, but not with “us” coming to a family reunion, which was a byproduct of sharing emotional healing moments with my twenty-something nieces. Everything unfolded in such an organized and loving way that I counted down the days with high hopes and a few bouts of anxiety of being accepted as the sober new and improved me.

I cannot even put into words how much this means to every heart and soul in this beautiful mountain retreat in so many different ways. We are sharing a bedroom while our teenage divas sleep in one of the seven rooms designated for our family. We are in the basement while they overlook the lake. Yet another example of personal sacrifice for memories sake. We have all laughed till breathless, told late night stories under the stars and have collectively shared more memeiores than I could personally recall. We have shattered the illusions of separation with a deep love for family despite how ours operates. I love them all and it doesn’t matter if it’s written in ink or in the fibers of my mind, we have created a new paradigm in co-parenting. They are part of me and I am part of them, no matter the time or distance and it clearly speaks volumes of their love for us. 

The lessons learned here are ones that rewrite the genetic codes that state that one must leave the family or be excluded from the future. Blood is thick but so is integrity, honesty, and forgiveness. Bonding from a genuine desire to show up with a pure passion for living authenticity creates an unconventional habitat for giving our girls the most powerful life experiences with the most awesome family that I am blessed to know. 

Yes this is a very unique situation, but I hope by sharing my experiences from the trenches of a family reunion that a million hearts will learn to love their families even after divorce. I understand from personal experience that some of these relationships may never be mended or that some people need to be avoided for emotional safety and to protect family members, but if it’s just that you don’t get along or that resentments are to strong, then maybe my truth will help others be free to break the bonds of a hurtful or conventional divorce. 

For us, we love life as individuals and as the most unconventional co-parenting success story. One day our girls will be in college and then we can rebuild however we see fit. For now, new memories and family game night is waiting…

Dedicated to the Edwards Family for being the epitome of cool! I love you from the bottom of my heart and I will always hold space for “what else is possible.” I am proud to be a version of your sister and a forever friend! 




  • Rebecca L. Edwards

    A sober author and passionate advocate dedicated to helping teens move beyond the stigma and shame of childhood sexual abuse so that they may find their purpose in healing and recovery.

    Learning how to THRIVE and move beyond life's most difficult challenges with childhood sexual trauma and addiction is incredibly powerful. My new book The NETT, New Evolution in Thinking for Teens, is rooted in transformational awareness that only comes through mastering and now sharing my lived experiences to help those who may still be suffering in silence. "Far and away the best prize life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work that is worth doing." ~Theodore Roosevelt